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B.F. v. Amazon.Com Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

December 17, 2019

B.F. and A.A., minors, by and through their guardian Joey Fields, et al. Plaintiffs,
v.
AMAZON.COM, INC., a Delaware corporation, and A2Z DEVELOPMENT CENTER, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendants.

          For Plaintiffs and the Putative Class QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP Andrew H. Schapiro (admitted pro hac vice) Stephen Swedlow (admitted pro hac vice) QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN, LLP Ashley C. Keller (admitted pro hac vice) Travis D. Lenkner (admitted pro hac vice) J. Dominick Larry (admitted pro hac vice) Aaron M. Zigler (admitted pro hac vice) KELLER LENKNER LLC Warren D. Postman (admitted pro hac vice) KELLER LENKNER LLC

          For Defendants, AMAZON.COM, INC. and A2Z DEVELOPMENT CENTER, INC. FENWICK & WEST LLP Jeffrey A. Ware, WSBA No. 43779 Laurence F. Pulgram (admitted pro hac vice) Tyler G. Newby (admitted pro hac vice) Molly R. Melcher (admitted pro hac vice) Armen N. Nercessian (admitted pro hac vice) Avery L. Brown (admitted pro hac vice) Mary M. Griffin (admitted pro hac vice) FENWICK & WEST LLP

          STIPULATED MOTION TO MODIFY SCHEDULING ORDER REGARDING CLASS CERTIFICATION DISCOVERY DEADLINES

          MICHELLE L. PETERSON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4) and LCR 16(b)(5), Plaintiffs and Defendants Amazon.com, Inc. and a2z Development Center, Inc. (collectively, “Amazon”) respectfully submit this joint motion requesting that the Court modify the Rule 16(b) and Rule 23(d)(2) Scheduling Order Regarding Class Certification (Dkt. No. 54) by 120 days to allow the parties to complete class certification discovery and proceed with briefing on Plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The current deadline for the parties to complete discovery on class certification issues is January 7, 2020, with Plaintiffs' class certification motion to follow on February 7, 2020. As the Court acknowledged at the October 17, 2019 hearing in this matter, this schedule set “an aggressive timetable” for class certification discovery, and the Court invited the parties, after diligent efforts, to seek relief from deadlines that proved unworkable.

         Since that hearing, the parties believe that they have worked diligently and in good faith to satisfy their respective discovery obligations. The parties have also met and conferred extensively on discovery matters, among other things to narrow areas of dispute. Despite these efforts, however, the current timetable for completing class certification discovery is unfeasible, and there are several reasons for an extension of the deadlines concerning class certification in this case. Given the complexity of the legal issues and the technology in this case, Plaintiffs' discovery requests seek extensive technical and business sensitive information concerning a core Amazon service. The parties have disputes over the scope of discovery and have brought one dispute over whether Plaintiffs state claims entitling them to discovery based on post-recording use and disclosure of voice recordings for resolution by the Court. In addition, Plaintiffs have sought leave to file a proposed second amended complaint that would add new claims under California law on behalf of a California class and could affect the scope of discovery. All the disputed discovery issues cannot be resolved before the January 7, 2020 class certification discovery deadline. Nor can all documents be collected before disputes over scope are unresolved. Moreover, while the parties have been working to schedule depositions in this matter, it is not possible to complete all the necessary depositions - including of the named class representatives, their guardians, and relevant Amazon witnesses - before the current deadline.

         For these reasons, the parties respectfully request an extension of 120 days to all current discovery and briefing deadlines concerning class certification. The parties propose that the Court modify the case calendar set forth in the Rule 16(b) and Rule 23(d)(2) Scheduling Order Regarding Class Certification as follows:

Event

Current Deadline

Proposed Deadline

Deadline to complete discovery on class certification

January 7, 2020

May 6, 2020

Deadline for Plaintiffs to file Motion for Class Certification

February 7, 2020

June 8, 2020

Deadline for Amazon to File Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification

March 28, 2020

July 27, 2020

Deadline for Plaintiffs to file Reply re: Plaintiffs' Class Certification Motion

April 15, 2020

August 13, 2020

         This schedule accords more closely with the circumstances that this very complicated action presents. Accordingly, the parties request that the Court extend both parties' deadlines in the current scheduling order for 120 days, as proposed above.

         BACKGROUND

         I. DISCOVERY EFFORTS TO DATE

         On June 11, 2019, the initial complaint was filed in this action, naming Plaintiff C.O. Dkt. No. 1. On July 8, 2019, counsel for Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint, adding 21 minor plaintiffs and seven causes of action. See Dkt. No. 24 (“FAC”). On September 11, 2019, the Court entered a scheduling order setting a deadline for the parties to complete discovery on class certification by January 7, 2020, and for Plaintiffs to file their motion for class certification by no later than February 7, 2020, with Amazon's opposition to follow on March 28, 2020 and the Plaintiffs reply due April 15, 2020. Dkt. No. 54.

         Amazon filed a motion to compel this action to individualized arbitration and to dismiss or stay Plaintiffs' claims pending arbitration on September 12, 2019. Dkt. No. 55. Following this motion, on September 23, 2019, Amazon responded to Plaintiffs' discovery requests with objections that merits discovery should be stayed and that Plaintiffs' discovery requests were premature until the Court decided Amazon's pending Arbitration Motion. Plaintiffs responded by filing a motion to compel discovery responses on October 3, 2019. Dkt. No. 70.

         This Court issued a report and recommendation (the “Report”) denying Amazon's motion to compel arbitration on October 21, 2019. Dkt. No. 78. On October 21, 2019, the Court also granted Plaintiffs' motion to compel discovery and ordered Amazon to provide substantive responses to Plaintiff's discovery requests within two weeks. It also ordered the parties to meet and confer on a coordinated discovery effort that will take the similar putative class actions pending in other districts into account. Dkt. No. 79. On November 4, 2019, Amazon filed its objection to the Report. Dkt. No. 86. The same day, Amazon also provided substantive responses to Plaintiffs' discovery requests, together with a production totaling over 10, 000 pages. The parties reached agreement on how to coordinate discovery between this case and other pending matters, including understandings concerning the extent to which other parties could rely upon discovery received in one matter in another, and limitations on the ability of a side to seek identical discovery-related relief in one proceeding after an adverse decision in another. ...


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